Lázár: Farmland auctions to continue

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Auctions of state-owned farmland are scheduled to be relaunched in mid-February and will last until March 31, Cabinet Chief János Lázár said yesterday at his regular weekly press conference, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

Since the first auctions were held in November, approximately 120,500 hectares of plots over three hectares have been sold, which accounts for 61% of the total offer, Lázár reportedly said, adding that revenue of the sales came to HUF 171 billion. Revenue from the sales of plots smaller than three hectares was HUF 6.1 bln, while the average size of the plots purchased was 1.4 hectares, the cabinet chief said.

The Hungarian Development Bank (MFB), which is is offering preferential credit to local farmers to purchase the land, has so far provided HUF 120 bln in credit, but the credit allocated is higher than this amount.

The government’s farmland auctions have been dubbed by opposition parties as another attempt to put government-friendly oligarchs into an advantageous position. The government has denied these claims.

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